Charles Koch, one of the billionaire brothers behind Koch Industries and the bane of liberal Democrats for their massive donations to Republican causes and candidates, urged his fellow moneyed donors on Saturday to let their voices be heard in the 2016 election cycle.
"Everybody, come out and identify yourself, because this isn’t some secret cabal," Koch said during an opening meeting with 500 wealthy conservatives being held over three days at the Renaissance Resort and Spa in Indian Wells, California.
"I've been identified lately, and it’s not so bad, I’m still here," Koch said. "I'm going stronger than ever."
Koch has been in the media recently promoting his book, "Good Profit,"
a move seen by some as an attempt to soften the sinister image Democrats have painted of Koch and his brother, David.
The Kochs allowed a select number of journalists into parts of this year's private retreat in another effort to seem less secretive. NBC News
reported that it had agreed to the condition of not identifying anyone present, though attendees were allowed to speak to reporters if they chose.
The Kochs' donor network spent $400 million last year and is headed toward a record $889 million in 2016, +
Koch listed four goals he has to change to course of American society:
- "Reverse the policies that are moving us toward a two-tiered society," including corporate welfare.
- Get all levels of government to focus on the "primary responsibility to people," which is to "keep Americans safe."
- Protecting free speech, which is "under attack everywhere."
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